Top 10 Reasons to Love Blender

Please do not linkbomb. Posts here will get a lot more discussion and people are more willing to click on your links if you provide a bit of perspective and context in the text of your post.

I like how it’s not a general fanboy “I LOVE BLENDER XO” video. It’s also good that it gets to the point rather quickly rather than bogging down in minutes of introductory dialogue.

I agree on most of those reasons, though I do believe certain areas like simulation have a lot of room for improvement (as comparison videos featuring Mantaflow and Luca’s cloth work, not to mention all of the 2.8 developments, can attest to).

I also noticed you posted this video to the CGTalk forums, be assured that they will be a lot more critical of the video over there than here on BA (quite likely, they will give you a good rundown on where commercial apps. top Blender in some of these points, things that you might have not thought about).

The reason why I say the response would be more critical is because you’re not preaching to the choir anymore (providing they don’t outright lock the thread instead).


10 - workflow - put a horn to a monkey character
9 - hidden tools - promo of animation’s addons
8 - cross platform - render a dragon character
7 - significant upgrades - move the foot of a monster character
6 - simulation tools - smoke
5 - All inclusive features - video sequence and game logic editors
4 - Character animation - if you still haven’t understand so far why he loves blender.
3 - Community - Blendswap to download character, blendernation to learn how to animate it, blenderartists to get support from the game section.
2 - Copy protection - move a dragon arm and mouth.
1 - Open Source - paint the horned monkey of point 10.

Have you figured out why you should love blender?

10 because its fun
9 it really is only a shortcut key, alt F +ctrl U + shift N
8 and its kinda cool too
7 it keeps you thinking woooow…
6 to get amazed
5 maybe its something to do with love and engineering archive, or destruction and explosions modifiers and studio camera’s.
4 because all my friends get impressed
3 i could even use it at work and i got payed those hours
2 the opensource coding is interesting me a lot, to be able to see what gets made and how it is coded, news from the source.
1 Or because it got a non watertight Suzanne, but still i like even her icon.

I took a peek. It doesn’t seem more critical to me. Just less defenders. Otherwise, it’s standard complaints about the frustrating learning curve. Hopefully, 2.8 addresses it.

Chances are, 2.8 may still not address it for some of them (because none of the development will give Blender a QT-based UI that looks exactly like the ones in Max or Maya).

They will probably like the new viewport widgets, the new viewport itself, and all of the new usability/workflow features, but the standard UI complaints will likely stay (simply because it’s not a carbon-copy of [insert app. here]).

The BF can look for innovation all it wants, but there are who don’t want anything not considered an industry standard and/or anything that the other apps. aren’t doing (the only exceptions being if the app. is capable of doing things nothing else can like Zbrush).

Also, if you think I’m mistaken regarding all this, consider the fact that the reception to Blender’s UI appears just as cold as it was back during the 2.3x days (the UI work during the 2.5 overhaul and the refreshes in 2.7x apparently doing nothing to warm a sizable segment of Maya, Max, and C4D users). Blender, to an extent, is still seen as ‘that free app. with the weird UI’ (and 10 years of rapid development hasn’t erased it).

The solution, the Blender devs. and users alike should continue to work on getting Blender to a truly professional level of power and capability (ahead of the commercial apps. if possible), but don’t bother with listening to those whose idea of usability is “Maya clone”.

Yep, that’s the crux of it. If people see the app itself as inferior, they’re going to pick around the edges, no matter what the differences are. If they see it as superior, they’ll make excuses for some poor designs here and there.

Blender just needs to worry about Blender. Those who see value will put up with the learning curve. Those looking for a free version of Maya will do what they always do.

People aren’t asking for a clone. None of the commercial apps have identical GUIs either. You know how steering wheels in cars are all different yet function the same? It’s like that. Blender’s steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car and turns the wrong way. What material it is made out of is far less concerning.

The keymap/interaction is where the frustrating learning curve stems from in Blender. Veteran 3D artists cannot even do a basic box-select without documentation. That is not a good design. Any interface that does not produce the results you expect is an exercise in frustration to use. Consumers reject products all the time for that reason alone. Reduce the frustration factor and people will use it more. It’s common sense.

2.8 plans to ship with a simpler keymap. If it does, I’ll make threads on various message boards asking people to try Blender and give thoughts. We’ll see how it goes.

We’ve all seen how this conversation goes: People who use Blender as their primary tool don’t want it slowed or dumbed down to the speed of the industry standard. People who like click-centric UIs want that in Blender. The argument goes round and round and round…

But convention only proves popularity, not usefulness or efficiency. No reason to adopt a bad formula just because people expect it. In any other field, it would be quite the opposite. To use your analogy, you wouldn’t use a car’s steering wheel in a jet, because 'it’s what more people are used to".

What aspects of Blender you think would appeal a Cinema 4D user?

Putting a steering wheel in a jet breaks convention, not follows it. If you want to go that route, Blender is the jet with the car steering wheel that most pilots don’t feel like learning how to fly.

I want to eliminate bad ideas, not bring in more of them. To do that it is critical for us to recognize when we’re doing something bad. For example, click and drag for box-select uses up zero extra hotkeys, it is faster to use, and it doesn’t need to be learned because it’s an established convention. Click and drag is the right design, not what we’re doing. It isn’t dumbing it down, it isn’t cloning. It is looking for the best design to make Blender a better tool for 3D artists.

I don’t think there’s much argument against more standard control mechanisms (and indeed, some of the standards really are good things to have), the issues come when the Blender developers (or any FOSS developers) attempt to create something that is better than the industry standard, but is rejected by commercial app. users because it’s not the standard. It’s also the same with useful features and concepts that Blender has, but many don’t like because the industry leaders don’t use it.

Examples of this abound in both the realm of user experience and developer experience. People coming from other apps. might see the 3D cursor and the custom-built UI as deal-breakers (despite the usefulness they bring in areas like placing objects in a scene), developers might see the lack of use of built-in C++ features as deal-breakers (despite the Blender code having custom solutions like BLI that are arguably superior).

Another example on the user-front is the spacebar search menu, despite its access to all relevant functions for the space you are in, there are many who don’t like it simply because it’s not the Maya hotbox.

Not Crappy.

xrg, you hit the nail with both these posts #11 and #14.

Can anyone really find an excuse and defend the decision to bind the 3D Cursor repositioning to the most dominant/used interaction key, the LMB? How many times do you reposition the 3D Cursor during your blender session?! Shouldn’t that key, LMB, be bound to the most used action - selection? On top of that there is already a long accepted and very functional paradigm for selecting using the same key for both click and drag (box) select.

So again, is anyone seriously going to say that having the 3D Cursor repositioning bound to LMB; Select to RMB; and Box Select to B is in any way better than 3DCursor-RMB; both click and drag-LMB?
(… Actually, 3DCursor should not even be on the RMB! It should use a mouse button with a combo of modifier keys)

The 3DCursor is fine, no one seriously objects to it. Is it the best way to solve what it solves, I don’t think so. But it is good enough. The problem is shoving it into one’s face by placing it on the LMB, like it’s the best idea invented in CG.

So the whole gripe about Blender’s UI, mainly, is not about the visual aspect of it, rather the interaction (and the way menus/commands in menus are sorted/organized).

PLyczkowski’s rSelection Addon has been a very good solution for more than 2 years now!! That would be a good starting point to just integrate that into blender as a default or at least as a drop down option on the StartupScreen.
Unfortunately that is just the beggining. The main problem is that the Input Editor is a mess. Example - each window/editor has it’s own navigation hotkeys/actions. This is beyond ludicrous, is anyone really going to setup different navigation schemes throughout the app?!

As an example for menus, agan PLyczkowski, has a very functional example with rRMB Menu addon. You open this menu for the first time and you have no problem finding anything in there. Impecabbly organized.

These, in my opinion are the kind of things that frustrate and turn away most experienced users taking Blender for a spin.

chipping in on the ‘changing things doesn’t always mean changing things for the sake of changing things’. Even ignoring all other applications outside of operating systems, it makes sense to put the thing you do most often(selecting) on left-click, and have rightclick be a pie menu, or a context menu. I am fine with the 3d cursor having a prominent place on such a pie menu, but I do think that there should also be something there that makes it easy for someone to get going.

I imagine the only resistance to this is to make sure that it works across all modes, but I think that would be something that can be solved if we go over them step-by-step.

I’ve used C4D since V4 on Amiga, right up until V16. I switched to Blender, not because it was free as such, but because the comparitive cost of C4D made it outrageous to keep paying as a hobbyist. On those rare occasions when I still use C4D, I actually find the icon driven interface clunky, but perhaps I’m getting used to the Blender way of doing things.

And whilst this was mentioned in the 10 (7 I believe), it’s also a downside, since I’m getting so used to the Blender way, that I automatically use it in other software. I run an OSGrid server (for those who don’t know, and OS version of SecondLife), and when I visit, I frequently try to use Blender shortcuts, which don’t work. Most other software needs effort to stop using it the Blender way.

Blender is mature enough to migrate to from C4D without a doubt, and after the initial frustration (particularly node based materials), you eventually learn that it is, in actual fact, more powerful.

If I understand you correctly, yes, absolutely. Having the opportunity to customize hotkeys per context is one of Blender’s most impressive UI achievements, imo. No idea why we should be forced to resort to scripting our custom keymaps, when we can already use the input editor. Frankly, I wish other apps would do us the courtesy.

Why is the flexibility a net negative in your opinion?